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Marine Missing From Vietnam War Is Identified

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  • Marine Missing From Vietnam War Is Identified

    The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

    He is Cpl. Jim E. Moshier, U.S. Marine Corps, of Bakersfield, Calif. He will be buried Wednesday in Bakersfield.

    On June 11, 1967, Moshier was one of 11 passengers on board a CH-46A Sea Knight helicopter that was inserting forces into Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, when the aircraft was struck by enemy ground fire and crashed. Pilots from two nearby helicopters saw the crash and reported that none of the men on board could have survived. Aircraft flew over the site for several hours, but saw no survivors. A ground patrol attempted to access the site the next day, but could not because of the large concentration of enemy forces in the area. Two weeks later, a reconnaissance patrol was within 25 meters of the crash site, but extensive enemy activity prevented the team from approaching closer.

    Between 1993 and 1994, U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted two surveys of the site, and interviewed several Vietnamese citizens who said they witnessed the crash. Two of the citizens claimed to have seen bone fragments while scavenging the site years earlier. The teams found small pieces of wreckage, but no human remains.

    In May 2005, Vietnamese officials notified U.S. officials that possible human remains were present at a district security compound in Quang Tri Province. The Vietnamese reported they confiscated the remains and other items, including Moshierís identification tag, from a Vietnamese citizen in 1996. The remains were then buried in the security compound, but the ID tag and other items had supposedly been lost over the years. Later that month, a U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the secondary burial site in the security compound and recovered a box containing human remains.

    Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Moshierís remains. Remains from one of the other servicemembers on board the aircraft, Pfc. James E. Widener, U.S. Marine Corps, were identified in August 2006.

    For additional information on the Defense Departmentís mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at or call (703) 699-1169.

  • #2
    A Question

    Is there a service for these heroes returned home so late?


    • #3
      Nope---not here!

      Sorry to say no in this case. I Live in Bakersfield, and other than this site I didn't hear anything about it. Of course, with the local TV news and local newspaper I am up to date on Lindsay's rehab and Britney's troubles and the slumping real-estate market.


      • #4
        Marine Missing

        IF - and I do mean -- IF the next of kin agrees that the remains are that of Cpl. Jim Moshier -- then the remains are enturned with full military honors. The relatives might live somewhere else and burial might be at their request. There should be some notification in the Bakersfield media.


        • #5
          Checked the Local Newspaper

          I did check with the local paper and this is what I found. Still, I didn't hear much about it other than here on POPASMOKE.

          From the Bakersfield Californian
          Corporal Jim E. Moshier August 3, 1943 - June 11, 1967 After 40 years "missing in action", Marine Corporal Jim E. Moshier will finally rest near his father, brother, and the son he never met. At midday on June 11, 1967, Jim and 10 other Marines perished when their helicopter was shot down on a reconnaissance mission in Quang Tri Province in South Vietnam. Because of heavy enemy presence, immediate efforts to search and recover were not possible. Further recovery attempts, which resulted in 4 additional casualties, were also unsuccessful. Only recently have Jim's remains been positively identified. James Edwin Moshier, the youngest of four children, was born in Ada, Oklahoma, to Tom and Stella Moshier on August 3, 1943. Shortly after, the family moved to Bakersfield where Jim grew up, attended local schools, and graduated from East Bakersfield High School. At East High, Jim lettered in swimming, track, football, and was a champion wrestler. Upon graduation in 1961, Jim joined the U.S. Navy and spent 3 years in Japan, serving aboard the USS Washtenaw County. He continued to wrestle competitvely for the Navy and was the 12th District Naval Wrestling Champion in his weight, and at one event, tied the National Champion of Japan. He then took up boxing and was equally successful. Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy, Jim enrolled at Bakersfield College, participating in football and lettering in wrestling. It was there he met and fell in love with Janice Eyraud. Jim enlisted in the Marines in March, 1966, and he and Jan married shortly after. At Camp Pendleton, where Jim received his training, he was honored at graduation as the Guide of Company D of the First Battalion. In August, 1966, he was sent to Vietnam as part of the Third Marine Division. He was seriously wounded in action in December, 1966, for which he received the Purple Heart. After his recovery in Japan, Jim resumed duties with the Third Force Recon in Quang Tri Province, where he was wounded a second time, earning the Gold Star. Only two months before his scheduled return home, Jim was killed and received his second Gold Star posthumously. Jim was also awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, two Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citations, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Rifle Expert Badge. At the time of Jim's Memorial Service in July, 1967, he was survived by his wife, Janice; his newly born son, Eric James; his mother and father; his two brothers; and his sister. Since that time, his father, Tom and brother, Dale, have passed, and his teenage son was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1984. Jim currently leaves behind his mother, Stella Moshier; sister, George Ann DeMarco; brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Gloria Moshier; three nephews, Tom Moshier Jr., Vincent DeMarco III, and James Anthony DeMarco; and niece, Tracy Brown; best friend, Bob Martini; 3 aunts, numerous cousins; and a host of college friends and Marine brothers who still hold Jim in their hearts. The family continues to mourn Jim's loss, but the return of his remains brings closure to a sad period of uncertainty. The funeral service scheduled for 11:00 a.m., on Wednesday, July 18, at Hillcrest Memorial Park will not only be a celebration of Jim's life and his return to his family, but will also provide an opportunity for other veterans to pay tribute to fallen comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, as Jim did.
          Published in the Bakersfield Californian from 7/15/2007 - 7/16/2007.


          • #6
            Larry thanks for your research and gathering the info on our "Brother". It's a sad story but Jim has finally met his son;Taps
            Semper Fi